Review ·

Dear Johnny,


I think it's time we had a talk and, unfortunately, I can't think of any other way to tell you exactly what's on my mind than to put it in a letter. When we first met, something magical happened. You never took your hands off me, and I sang my heart out for you. Now you act like you don't even know me. I'm feeling neglected, and don't think I don't notice how much time you spend with those magazines under your bed. Your dirty underwear is my only company, and that's only because you hang them on me. What's happened? Was it something I did? Was it something I didn't do?


I know we should be together. To prove that, I have something I want you to listen to. It's this album from London's Black Time, and it might change how you think about us. We don't have to be as complex and perfect as people make us think we should be. It can be easier than that, like Blackout. It can be raw, loud and passionate all at once. Just forget about how you think it should be and play with me however you feel. Let it come out. Don't worry about twelve-bar blues rhythms or Steve Vai guitar solos. Just play from your heart.


Listen to the way these three kids do it. They find a riff and they use it, together. This is how everyone learns to write songs. Sure, some people call it punk, but it's pure, unrefined punk, and if it works for Black Time, it can work for us. If there's any lesson we should take from the band's debut, it's that there's nothing wrong with repetition. In fact, repetition - be it vocals or guitar riffs - can create something catchy. Listen to how Black Time does it with songs such as "Mass Production of Corpses," repeating the title over and over while my feedback-rich music matches the vocal rhythm. This is the first rule of punk; play it pure and full of attitude. It doesn't need to break new ground as long as it's honest.


Hell, check out some of the music that inspired Black Time. Listen to Crime or the Velvet Underground or even the Cramps. All these bands have the same raw, experimental, loud and passionate style as Black Time, and when it comes to recording production, they share even more. It doesn't have to be crisp and clean like Carlos Santana says. We're not here to appeal to the masses, anyway. We're here to be together. We can do it like Black Time, and even if people don't like it we can rest assured that there's nothing shameful about our love.


Please play with me again.


Love (I hope),

Your Neglected Guitar


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